Most blog posts are like the newspaper. You’re glad you read them because now you feel up to date. But it doesn’t take long before they’re thrown away. It’s not that the content is bad. It’s just how the format works. Because of the constant stream of information, we’re less likely to archive, to file, to save, and to reflect on blog posts (and newspapers).
But there are exceptions.
One is Michael Hyatt’s The Beginner’s Guide to Goal Setting. I have it saved on my computer, printed, filed, annotated, you name it. It’s proved so useful that I have a copy out on my desk for reference whenever I’m considering my current week’s goals. Since it’s the new year and scores of people will be writing resolutions (or at least thinking about them), I want to commend his guide to you. I hope it’ll be valuable in your resolution-making this time of year.
If you only have time to check out one bullet point, read #2. It’s the gem in this article. Here are his five rules for making goals with some quotes.
1. Keep them few in number. “…focus on a handful of goals that you can repeat almost from memory.”
2. Make them “smart.”
- Specific—your goals must identify exactly what you want to accomplish in as much specificity as you can muster.
- Measurable—as the old adage says, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” If possible, try to quantify the result. You want to know absolutely, positively whether or not you hit the goal.
- Actionable—every goal should start with an action verb (e.g., “quit,” “run,” “finish,” “eliminate,” etc.) rather than a to-be verb (e.g., “am,” “be,” “have,” etc.)
- Realistic— … A good goal should stretch you, but you have to add a dose of common sense.
- Time-bound—… A goal without a date is just a dream. Make sure that every goal ends with a by when date.
3. Write them down. … When you write something down, you are stating your intention and setting things in motion.
4. Review them frequently. … Every time I review my goals, I ask myself, What’s the next step I need to take to move toward this goal. … The key is to do let them inspire and populate your daily task list.
5. Share them selectively.